Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2010 Issue »

    "No Backpacks" versus "Drugs and Murder"

    The Promise and Complexity of Youth Civic Action

    Beth C. Rubin, Brian F. Hayes
    Although young people have diverse experiences with civic life, most civic education practices in classrooms fail to recognize this complexity. In this article, Beth C. Rubin and Brian F. Hayes describe the results of a year-long research project that incorporated a new approach to civic learning into public high school social studies classrooms. They explore how students' disparate experiences with civic life shape civic identity development in complex and challenging ways across two distinct contexts. They offer a fully elaborated conceptualization of civic learning in settings of "congruence" and "disjuncture" and describe how the practice of connecting students' lives and experiences to the curriculum through civic action research, while promising, can also create dilemmas for both students and educators.

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    Beth C. Rubin, associate professor of Education at Rutgers University, investigates how young people develop, both as learners and as citizens, amid the interwoven contexts of classroom, school, and community. In her current work she designs and studies curricular and pedagogical innovations that attend to the complexities of youth civic learning at the intersection of classroom practices and larger social inequalities. Recent publications include “Realizing the Equity-Minded Aspirations of Detracking and Inclusion: Toward a Capacity-Oriented Framework for Teacher Education (with T. R. Abu El-Haj, 2009) in Curriculum Inquiry, “Detracking in Context: How Local Constructions of Ability Complicate Equity-Geared Reform” (2008) in Teachers College Record, and “‘There’s Still Not Justice’: Youth Civic Identity Development amid Distinct School and Community Contexts” (2007) in Teachers College Record. She teaches courses in urban education, social studies education, and qualitative research methods, and she is co-founder of the urban education program at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education.

    Brian F. Hayes, a former high school educator and administrator and currently a doctoral student at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, is interested in the intersection of education and the larger public policy arena. He has a passionate interest in improving the quality of social studies instruction in schools and engaging students in the political process around issues of pertinent concern. Recent publications include “Professional Development for Instruction and Student Learning? A New State Policy for Administrators” (with W. A. Firestone, M. N. Robinson, and C. Shalaby, 2008) in Leadership and Policy in Schools and “‘It’s the Worst Place to Live’: Urban Youth and the Challenge of School-Based Civic Learning” (with B. C. Rubin and K. Benson, 2009) in Theory into Practice. Brian currently works as a program officer in the division of School-University Partnerships at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey.
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    Fall 2010 Issue


    From Forced Tolerance to Forced Busing
    Wartime Intercultural Education and the Rise of Black Educational Activism in Boston
    Zoë Burkholder
    More Like Jazz Than Classical
    Reciprocal Interactions Among Educational Researchers and Respondents
    L. Janelle Dance, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Mary Hermes
    "No Backpacks" versus "Drugs and Murder"
    The Promise and Complexity of Youth Civic Action
    Beth C. Rubin, Brian F. Hayes
    When Boys Won't Be Boys
    Discussing Gender with Young Children
    Hannah Katch, Jane Katch
    Editor's Introduction: Bias in the SAT?
    Continuing the Debate
    HER Editorial Board
    On Replicating Ethnic Test Bias Effects
    The Santelices and Wilson Study
    Roy O. Freedle
    Misrepresentations in Unfair Treatment by Santelices and Wilson
    Neil J. Dorans
    Responding to Claims of Misrepresentation
    Maria Veronica Santelices, Mark Wilson

    Book Notes

    Whistling Vivaldi
    Claude M. Steele

    Crossing the Finish Line
    William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, and Michael S. McPherson

    Examining Effective Teacher Leadership
    Sara Ray Stoelinga and Melinda M. Mangin

    The Boy on the Beach:
    by Vivian Gussin Paley

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